With scarce opportunities in Ukraine, the United States and its allies are preparing for a long war

Substitute while the actions of the article are loading

The United States and its allies are preparing for a protracted conflict in Ukraine, officials said as the Biden administration tried to deny Russia’s victory by increasing military aid to Kyiv while fighting to alleviate the destabilizing effects of the war on world hunger. and the global economy.

President Biden ‘s announcement this week an additional $ 1 billion in security assistance for Ukraine, the largest tranche of US aid to date, offered the latest evidence of Washington’s determination to ensure that Ukraine can survive the criminal battle for the eastern Donbass region. European countries, including Germany and Slovakia, have unveiled their own advanced weapons ships, including helicopters and multiple rocket launchers.

“We are here to dig into our spurs,” said Defense Minister Lloyd Austin, after convening dozens of nations in Brussels to promise more support for Kyiv.

The decision to supply Ukraine with increasingly sophisticated weapons such as anti-ship missiles and long-range mobile artillery – capable of destroying significant military assets or striking deep into Russia – reflects a growing willingness in Western capitals to risk involuntary escalation with Russia.

Support seems to have encouraged the government of President Vladimir Zelensky, who this week promised to regain all of Russia-controlled Ukraine, even areas annexed by Moscow long before Russian President Vladimir Putin. 24 invasion.

But analysts say that despite growing foreign aid and strong morale among Ukrainian troops, Kyiv and its supporters can hope for little more than a stalemate with Russia, which is a far larger, better-armed army. Unlike Moscow’s failed attempt to take the capital, Kyiv, the battle of Donbass played the role of the Russian military, allowing it to use artillery strikes to strike at Ukrainian positions and gradually expand its reach.

The Ukrainian ambassador in Berlin does not care if he insults his cause

Ivo Daalder, a former US ambassador to NATO who now heads the Global Affairs Council in Chicago, said the deadlock on the battlefield leaves the United States a clear choice: either continue to help Ukraine maintain a potentially bloody status quo, with devastating global consequences it includes; or stop supporting and allow Moscow to prevail.

“That would mean feeding Ukraine to the wolves,” Daalder said, referring to the withdrawal of support. “And no one is ready to do that.”

A senior State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity to describe ongoing international discussions, said Biden administration officials had discussed the possibility of a protracted conflict with global effects even before February, as US intelligence suggested Putin was preparing to invade .

The Biden administration hopes the new weapon, in addition to successive waves of sanctions and Russian diplomatic isolation, will change the eventual end of the negotiating war, potentially reducing Putin’s desire to continue the fight, the official said.

Even if this reality does not happen immediately, officials have called for betting to ensure that Russia cannot take over Ukraine – a result that officials say could encourage Putin to invade other neighbors or even strike at NATO members. – as high that the administration is ready for even a global recession and growing famine.

Already the war, intensifying the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, plunged the world economy, now is expected to undergo years of low growth, in a new crisis. It has also exacerbated the global food emergency as fighting raises commodity prices and cripples Ukraine’s grain exports – which it normally feeds on. hundreds of millions of people a year – displacement of about 44 million people closer to starvation, according to the World Food Program.

“While it is certainly a challenge – we certainly are not sugaring it – in terms of how to navigate these turbulent waters, our guiding light is that the result of Russia being able to meet its maximalist demands is really bad. for the United States, really bad for our partners and allies and really bad for the world community, “said the State Department official.

She was raped in Ukraine. How many others have stories like hers?

On Friday, Ukrainian forces tried to protect dwindling areas under their control in Severodonetsk, a strategic city in Luhansk province that Pentagon officials expect to fall soon.

As a sign of how Western weapons have the potential to push the West deeper into the war, a U.S. defense official on Friday confirmed that a U.S.-made Harpoon anti-ship missile hit a Russian tractor in the Black Sea. For the first time, as part of Biden’s latest weapons package, the United States has said it will provide Harpoon mobile launchers to Ukraine.

Ukraine’s long-standing ambition to integrate more in Europe came close to reality on Friday when the European Commission recommended Ukraine to be declared an official candidate for membership of the European Union. Zelenski welcomed what he called a “historic decision”, although membership could be years from now.

“Ukrainians are ready to die for the European perspective,” said European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. “We want them to live the European dream with us.”

Putin, attacking the West in a speech on Fridaysaid he did not mind the idea of ​​Ukraine’s accession to the EU, but also warned that “all tasks of the special operation will be fulfilled,” as the Kremlin calls the invasion, and said his country can use nuclear weapons if its sovereignty is threatened.

Stressing what Western nations say is a radically changed security perspective, NATO leaders are expected to present new deployments in Eastern Europe at a summit in Madrid in late June.

Before this meeting, Gen. Mark. A. Mili, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the need to stop Russia with strong statements, equating the suffering of civilians in Ukraine of what Nazi Germany inflicted on Europe. But he also warned that while Moscow faces chronic problems in its offensive in Ukraine, including leadership, morale and logistics, the figures are “clearly in favor of the Russians” in eastern Ukraine.

The prospect of negotiations seems distant, as Putin seems unperturbed, possibly pursuing what analysts describe as a strategy to seize the entire Donbass region, then proposing a ceasefire that would freeze Russian control over this and other areas.

“My concern is that mainly Russia, on the one hand, and the Ukrainians and their partners, on the other, are pursuing mutually incompatible goals,” said Samuel Charap, a Russia expert at RAND Corporation. “This is forcing the Russians to keep pushing harder and we to give more and more.”

Many experts believe the war is likely to turn into a lower-intensity conflict or a situation like the one on the Korean Peninsula, where north-south fighting was halted by a 1953 truce without an official end to the war. A heavily militarized border has developed between the two Koreas, with periodic outbursts, and is a scenario that some analysts say could arise between Ukraine and parts of its Moscow-controlled territory.

“I don’t think either Putin or Zelensky can continue at the current level of battle for years,” said in an email James Stavridis, a retired naval admiral and former Supreme Allied Commander NATO. “Certainly in a few months, but unlikely years.”

As the conflict escalates, it provokes talk of what compromises the United States may have to make in its larger foreign policy goals or huge military budget. The Senate Armed Services Committee, citing inflation and the war in Ukraine, added $ 45 billion to the defense budget on Thursday, likely counting to $ 847 billion for next fiscal year.

Stacy Petition, director of the defense program at the Center for a New American Security in Washington, D.C., said the war also continues to eat up the bandwidth of senior U.S. officials that could be spent on long-term planning and modernization. In the past, officials have cited crises such as the long war against Islamic State as factors that have delayed a planned shift to focus on China.

“They continue to deal with Ukraine because the situation is evolving and immediate, and we need to provide the help we can and figure out how to support the Ukrainians,” she said. “But that means they don’t have the time or attention to push for those other issues that are really important and those long-term changes that would be needed if the United States were to really focus and focus. to the Pacific Ocean. ”

The Biden administration has vowed not to put pressure on Kyiv to accept concessions to solidify the solution to the war. Officials say Zelensky, even if he is willing to cede large parts of Ukraine, could face a revolt from Ukrainians if he accepts Moscow’s terms.

“It’s not our job to define those terms,” ​​Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan told a brainstorming event on thursday. “Our job is to give them the tools they need to put themselves in the strongest position possible.”

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.